Discussion in 'Eastern Philosophy' started by cpt.scruffy, Dec 14, 2006.
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I don't interpret God, reincarnation, a soul, etc...as supernatural...but atheists do. Who is Alan Watts? Some white guy? Yeah, thats what I thought...
You can say the same about many Hindu philosophies also, as you can about any religion really....a "religion of no religion"....
Don't be dissin' the Watts, he's the dude. He has contributed alot to stripping Buddhism from it's supernatural and religious claptrap, and rekindling an interest in alot of Americans.
"You assume too much." I'm sorry. I didn't mean to sound condescending."
"...and yet the whole trip revolves around the words of the one individual." I presume you mean the buddha. I wasn't going to bring it up, but, well that's one of the real problems with buddhism. Truth is, it doesn't revolve around the words of one individual, if it did maybe it would be easier to fathom. Chronologically there was a 300 year spread between the buddha's death and any attempts to make hard copies of his teachings. (I think you can already see the problem.) This means that the records were layed down, not by him, not even by his disciples, but by their descendents, 10, 20, generations removed. Now, I've been assured by the experts that the peoples of that period had much better memories than we, but this is TOO much. No message can be passed on by rote over 300 years, without serious alterations, intentional or not. This is compounded by the fact that, well, people are people, and we all like to put our own spin on it. The upshot of all this is that, in my opinion, NO ONE knows exactly what the buddha said, and it makes me choke when I hear people say that they're quoting him. So what's left. Despite all this, what seems to have survived is a philosophy, path, way of life, whatever you like (I don't call it a religion.) which shows remarkable insight into human nature.
If you want to discuss specific aspects of buddhism I will do so. But be aware, I do not know everything, and I do not speak for all, probably no, buddhists. But I will try, and I will not bullshit you.
There is no "Watts version" of Buddhism, and his connection with freaks and hippies is incidental. Not all hippies were Buddhist, and there are still Buddhists and hippies all over, but Buddhism has thrived on the west coast.
"in which respect I have been wondering where you get that from." I assume you mean the 300 year gap. Many buddhist texts claim this. I don't really know how accurate it is. The point is that - much of what is called buddhism is interpretation, at best, of what the buddha said. I would guess that Christians have a similar conundrum, although probably not as severe, since Christ lived 500 years closer to us.
E-Sangha. Yes, I know what you mean. I didn't find that a completely enlightening experience either.
"I wonder none the less what alternative understanding is to be had of it apart from their usual response, the blaming of the victim."
I'm not sure what you're referring to??
Sauna - I think you should understand that I do not subscribe to many of the popularly held conceptions or beliefs ascribed to buddhism. I cannot defend other people's statements. What I have learned, comes from the amalgamation of several sources: reading, observing, practicing, teachers, and other buddhists, always with the emphasis on 'what works for me'. I cannot defend the practices or statements of other buddhists.
The common denominator between Buddhist sects. The underlying principles and ideas. He didn't invent anything new.
Examples? Different schools of Buddhism do have disputes. His history of Zen is quite balanced and objective.
This was just something that happened when Eastern Zen practitioners started showing up on the west coast. Watts didn't invent it, he just wrote about it.
He made no presumptions of being a Zen master, only an amateur historian and enthusiast.
He would not dispute that abstaining from alcohol is a precept. Following the precepts is a personal choice with varying degrees of success depending on the person. The precepts are not fundamentalist proclamations, but guides to avoiding the factors which tend to prevent spiritual attainment.
even before trees rocks I was nothing
when I'm dead nowhere I'll be nothing
this ink painting of wind blowing through pines
who hears it?
sin like a madman until you can't do anything else
no room for any more
fuck flattery success money
all I do is lie back and suck my thumb
one long pure beautiful road of pain
and the beauty of death and no pain
mirror facing mirror
passion's red thread is infinite
like the earth always under me
a woman is enlightenment when you're with her and the red thread
of both your passions flare inside you and you see
your name Mori means forest like the infinite fresh
green distances of your blindness
my monk friend has a wierd endearing habit
he weaves sandals and leaves them secretly by the roadside
no words sitting alone night in my hut eyes closed hands open
wisps of an unknown face
we're lost where the mind can't find us
15th Century Zen master Ikkyu
Fame, wealth, eating and
drinking, sleep and sensual delight --
Once you’ve leaned the Five Desires
Your guide in life
Notions of what one should do
Never existed from the start
Fighting about what’s right, what’s wrong
That’s the doing of the "I"
When your study
Of Buddhism is through
You haven’t anything new
(1622-1693) -- from his "Song of Original Mind"
I'm not really sure what you're getting at. From what I've read of Watts, he is humble and non-judgemental.
I couldn’t agree more…..
They may read some introductions to Buddhism by Dalai Lama or such like, but never go any further.. these introduction are toned down to be acceptable to a western readership. Reading the sutras themselves is a different matter. It can take a lifetime to come to terms with some of the Buddhist texts... people read one introduction and think they understand it all..
To answer the thread question though;
Science is the pursuit of knowledge………. Buddhism is also the pursuit of knowledge.
(Possibly the most important step on the eight fold path is right knowledge.. )
Therefore……....Buddhism is science.
Separate names with a comma.